WCCUSD takes action after Newsom’s remarks on school closures

WCCUSD takes action after Gov. Newsom's remarks on school closures
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (Photo Credit: California Office of the Governor)

By Kathy Chouteau

On the heels of California Gov. Gavin Newsom indicating the likelihood of schools remaining closed for the rest of the academic year due to COVID-19, the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) is taking action to prepare its students for distance learning during an extended closure.

Gov. Newsom made the remarks during a news conference on Wednesday, spurring the WCCUSD to schedule a new time for its community to pick up needed learning materials at school campuses.

To that end, WCCUSD schools will be open Friday, April 3, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for students and families to pick up any school materials necessary for home-based instruction throughout the extended closures. The district previously announced that a more vigorous distance learning plan will be implemented starting April 13.

“This is an opportunity for students in Grades TK, K or 1 to pick up paper packets or devices and students in Grades 2-12 to pick up devices, if they have not already done so,” said WCCUSD Superintendent Matthew Duffy in a communication to the school community Wednesday night. He noted that efforts to facilitate distance learning is considered essential business.

Per the superintendent, social distancing protocols will be in place during the distribution timeframe. During the district’s temporary March school opening, Mira Vista Elementary—for example—distributed school supplies via a drive-through process.

“Similarly to the March 19 materials pick up, we will ask that you be mindful of the social distancing guidelines and stay at least six feet away from anyone who is not a member of your household,” he said.

Also noted in the communication was info about the district’s new “one-stop-shop” for answers and resources during the COVID-19 school closures. The WCCUSD’s call center will be open Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to assist families and staff. Email [email protected] or call 510- 943-4444 or 510-943-4443 for Spanish.

Following Supervisor Duffy’s Wednesday communication, WCCUSD school principals reached out to their respective school communities via phone with specific info about their school’s plan for pick-ups.

Read the superintendent’s most recent message to the school community here. For more info, visit the WCCUSD’s site here. Read the Richmond Standard’s recent report on the district’s distance learning game plan here.